MARTA funding bill wins final approval

[private]Legislation that could raise up to $2.5 billion for the expansion of the MARTA system in Atlanta won final approval Thursday night by the Georgia Senate.

Senators voted 43-5 to agree to the House’s revised version of SB 369, a bill that initially dealt with fireworks regulation but was rewritten to become the most important transportation bill passed this year.

The bill authorizes Atlanta to call a referendum for a half-cent sales tax to fund MARTA expansion. Fulton County can call a separate sales tax referendum and use the revenues for non-transit projects.

“This is a win for Atlanta, a win for Fulton County, and a win for MARTA,” said Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta).

“This is very important for the city of Atlanta,” Senate Minority Leadeer Vincent Fort said. “It’s a good idea whose time has come.”

The ultimate fate of SB 369 was one of the major questions hanging over the final day of the legislative session, but approval turned out to be surprisingly routine. It took only six minutes to call up the bill, discuss it, and then vote on it.

© 2016 by The Georgia Report

[/private]

Tags: Atlanta , Brandon Beach , MARTA funding , Vincent Fort